About this Show

Washington Journal

News/Business. Live morning call-in program with government officials, political leaders, and journalists.

NETWORK

DURATION
02:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 17 (141 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

America 25, Us 20, United States 17, Washington 17, U.s. 14, John Brennan 8, New York 7, Bob Wheelock 7, Gm 5, Oregon 5, Cia 5, Iraq 5, Obama 4, Aig 3, Panetta 3, Mali 3, Virginia 3, Syria 3, Baltimore 3, Iran 3,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Live morning call-in program with  
   government officials, political leaders, and journalists.  

    February 8, 2013
    7:00 - 9:00am EST  

7:00am
services and population and the director of virginia commonwealth university center of human needs. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] host: good morning, and welcome to "washington journal" for this friday, february 8. house democrats continue their meeting since in virginia today. president obama adjust them. in administration and the news, secretary of state john carey has his first bilateral meeting with his canadian, board -- john kerry had his first bilateral meeting. and secretary panetta testified before congress on the benghazi attacked and also facing scrutiny was nominee for cia director. one of the things he talked about is how much of the public and congress should know about the u.s. drove stride program. we would like to hear your
7:01am
opinion. what is the balance between government secrecy and the public's right to know? here are the numbers to call -- you can also find us online -- here is the headline in "the baltimore sun" this morning. brennan targeted over drones.
7:02am
looking at some of the opinions coming in on the editorial pages of the newspapers. "usa today" -- that is of the newspaper's editorial board opinion. jumping down, it says --
7:03am
the opposing view that "usa today" publishes to give a counterpoint says end the u.s. -- covert drone war. naureen shah at columbia's human-rights institute writes -- she points out the war is waged secretly because the pakistani and yemen government have the time feared their citizens would oppose open u.s. and all -- involvement. what do you think? what is more important, government secrecy or the
7:04am
public's right to know? let's hear from walter from butler, indiana. a republican. are you with us? last time for walter. caller: yes, ma'am. hello? thank you for taking my call. i appreciate it. i sit here and i remember president obama before he was mr. obama said water boarding is torture and terrible and we will raise and elevate the way we treat people. that different countries will respect us again. now he is turning around and not just water boarding them but telling american people that if there are american citizens in foreign countries, i am just going to kill them. i will not try them or bring them up on charges or do any of that. i would just wax them. it just opens a whole new can of worms of shredding the
7:05am
constitution and just another example of people in power that abuse power and think they are above the law. and i don't understand how they can do it and justify it. as far as secrecy, the government has been keeping secrets from us ever since the beginning of time. when the people fear the government, you have terry -- when the government fears the people, you have democracy. of this land is slowly being destroyed by big business and a large conglomerate of power groups and we are in big trouble. thank you for taking my call. host: let's hear from mike from press got, arizona on the independent line. caller: walter, you were dead on. this has been going on since the patriot act. they are taking all of our rights away. now that are blatantly telling us, we are going to kill you. this has been going on since -- when we were attacked on 9/11,
7:06am
george bush started putting all the stuff in and obama was dead against it. we will put it all on the table. now they are just -- i mean, america, wake up. we have lost our rights. already, they are gone. host: let me ask you a follow-up question. do you have problems with the drone program in and of itself or do you have problems with how much you know about it? caller: i have problems with just the way the government has slowly eroded our constitutional rights and have told the people. if it is written down. we all know that we are not allowed to do this. that they can tap our phones and call it retroactively not illegal. they just do what they want. now they are blatantly doing it. as far as the drones go, they are flying over our country now. the conspiracy theory with a
7:07am
9/11 -- i am not one of them. but that nsaa building -- nsa building in utah is doing something. they are collecting data. the drones are a continuation of the militarization of our country through militarizing our police. that is what they are doing. host: here is the counter opinion in "usa today," is similar opinion to what we have heard this morning. to shore up dubious democracies, we are poisoning our own. "usa today" position is, judicial oversight could go along way combing fears about future be -- future abuse. pennsylvania, a democrat. caller: i feel this way about the drone context. if a person from the united states goes over to the middle
7:08am
east, they are traitors and they should be killed. if they do harm against the united states. so, i am for the drone. so that is all i have to say. host: let us hear a little exchange between john brennan and senate panelists yesterday. he was questioned by senator ron wyden, democrat from oregon. [video clip] >> what you think needs to be done to ensure members of the public understand more about when the government thinks it is allowed to kill them, particularly with respect to those two issues. the question of evidence and authority to use this power within the united states. >> i have been a strong proponent of trying to be as open as possible with these programs, as far as explaining what we are doing. what we need to do is optimize
7:09am
transparency in the issue. at the same time, optimize secrecy and the protection of national security. i don't think it is one or the other. it is trying to optimize both of them. well we need to do is make sure we explain to the american people what are the threshold's to action, what are the procedures, practices, the approvals. the office of legal counsel advised establishes the legal boundaries within which we can operate. it does not mean we operate at the elder boundaries. i think the american people would be quite pleased to know we have been very disciplined and judicious and only use these authorities and capabilities as a last resort. >> one other point with respect to oversight. if the executive branch makes a mistake and kills the wrong person or a group of the wrong people, how should the government acknowledged that? >> i believe we need to acknowledge it. i believe we need to acknowledge it to our foreign partners.
7:10am
we need to acknowledge it publicly. there are certain circumstances where there are considerations to be taken into account, but as far as i am concerned, this time of action that takes place in the interest of transparency, i believe the united states government should acknowledge it. host: that was john brennan testifying before the senate yesterday, speaking with senator wuden, a democrat from oregon. here are some facebook comments. elizabeth writes in -- calvin says -- mike says -- we are asking your opinion this morning about drone strikes, balance and government secrecy with the public's right to know. glenn is up next from kentucky
7:11am
on the democrats' line. caller: good morning. i want to correct one thing walter said on the first call before i comment. the president's find an executive order the second day he was in office eliminating weatherboarding -- the president's signed an executive order. i think what we need to do is we need greater oversight of the program. and i was hopeful from mr. brennan's testimony that it may be the case now. as far as transparency goes, the public needs to know about the overall program. but as far as the nuances, i don't think that we want to put that out for public consumption. thank you very much. atlanta, georgia. republicans line.
7:12am
caller: thank you. first of all, i think it is a very dangerous idea to legalized killing. as the other gentleman was saying, does he think it is okay to kill people. i think it is a bad idea because, first of all -- and i was listening to mr. brennan and he was saying it is ok, it should be recognized. but killing anyone is an unlawful act. i think we should use the constitution and bring people to justice. because it gives opening doors for other countries to say, we can drone people who spy on our country. i think it is a very bad idea for people to forget about human rights and the americans -- not only american kids but what about the other kids who died, in somalia, iraq. are you saying their life -- americans' lives are more sacred than other peoples? this is incorrect, and i think
7:13am
people's judgments are based on their own desires and not using freezing -- reason. host: barbara is next in new york, independent line. caller: good morning, libby. i believe -- agree with walter, the first caller. the drone program is wrong, and not a question of whether it should be secret and not. we should not be doing it. i understand representative barbara lee has a bill in congress to rescind the authorization given to bush after 9/11 to wage war. so, i hope that bill will make progress. lastly, this is a rhetorical comments, but i want to know if barack obama will give back the peace prize that was given to him prematurely, because he certainly has proven he is not a man of peace. lastly, i notice susan has been missing for moms. she was there a long time fridays. i guess she has given up doing
7:14am
"washington journal." can you tell us we miss you? host: she is hosting some of our shows, including of the " news picked -- "newsmakers." we will pass it along. indiana, republican caller. caller: i think they keep to much information from of the american public. they are supposed to serve us. they can't tell us everything, but they have too much of diversion of the american people's minds. and they don't let us know things we should know. it brings back to my mind the diversion of the american people's mind at the end of the 'nam war. as it was coming to a close, there were a lot of the versions that happened that brought people mines from the end of the 'nam war.
7:15am
things happened that were not true to get people's minds off of the war. like the gas prices -- that was not true. ok? right after that, this started selling unleaded gas, which was less than the leaded gas, cheaper to make -- they have a gas shortage, which wasn't true. and then they started making cars smaller, which scared the people into buying smaller cars. which opened up the floodgates to get the foreign cars into this country. they let the steel companies buy into the oil companies, but more plastic in the cars, which is a byproduct of oil. i said it back then when it was all happening. no, i was a radical. then they said we got to retool back then to create more jobs for the metro -- metric system.
7:16am
what happened? we got more products in this country from china and all of the foreign countries. they said we would have more jobs. wrong. host: can we bring it back to the topic of drones strikes and what you think about that? should the public know everything the government does? caller: they should know at least 70% more than what they know now. host: he said 70% more. what do you think, mario, in bridgeport, conn? democrats' line. caller: what i feel is cents 9/11, the cia has started hiring literature students to come up with the new terrorist attacks. i read this in "the nation, quite a very well circulated magazine. the cia hiring literature students to come up with terrorist attacks. what is to say that the domestic drones of things of that nature, that one day we don't have -- supposedly, say
7:17am
another george bush takes office and supposedly iran has the drug system and start attacking our own citizens? that is a perspective we need to take a look at. that is why the people need the right to vote. for example, the predator system came out around 1983 or 1984, and in the same year it came out, hollywood put out the movie "predator." thank you. host: let's look reporting on john brennan's hearing.
7:18am
rick is next, from athens, texas. independent line. caller: how are you doing? host: how are you doing? caller: you look good -- you always look good in glasses. i know you did not have glasses. b you bausch and lomb to give you a contract -- host: what do you think about that drones strike programmer what is the boundary lines? caller: it is bad. it is never a good thing to remotely control killing -- war through remote-control.
7:19am
it is unconscionable. they can't tell who they are actually hitting or striking. i think one of the draw in pilot basis is in las vegas. it is all surveillance. you have seen surveillance, you have seen how things look from the air. you can't tell what is going on. they had a lot of innocent people. it is not a good idea to wage war through remote control. i mean, those things -- they got bombs on them. what i am concerned about is it does not seem to change -- democrat, republican -- one comes in and another goes out. nothing seems to change. it is the exact same foreign policy. it is almost like there is an unseen hand behind both parties.
7:20am
host: do you think you have been given full information about what is happening with the use of drones? do you want to know more about what the u.s. is doing or do you feel like you know enough? caller: what i have seen it, -- abc, cbs, all that a -- i mean, we will never know what they are doing with them. but my main concern, since i've lived in america and i am an american, is there are plans to have drones patrolling our skies. homeland security has ordered drones. they say they are just for surveillance, but it is not a good idea to have remote- control -- heavy ever read
7:21am
"1984" by george orwell? it started like that. you can't have so much power congregated in so few hands. it is in its power to have not only surveillance from the air but also bombing capability, remote-controlled bombing capability. and the decisions made by just a very few people. over a whole population -- it is even passed what george orwell could think of. i am mainly concerned about. i know nothing will change from my concerns. but it would be good if there was a more democratic, republicans -- not the parties, but political republic democratic type things where
7:22am
people can choose their leaders and the leaders follow what the people. like the gun control thing. it is an instance where people stood up and said, no, we need to protect themselves. this is an example. i hope we do it with drones and hope we do not have drones controlling our skies. i am sorry for the people having drones patrolling the skies because it is just -- i mean, come on, libby. think about it. there is no way to tell who you are actually shooting at. who you are going to strike, because it is like a surveillance camera. you see people on the ground. you do not know what they are. it might be this guy or that guy. go ahead and hit. boom. and then, sorry, it was a wedding party. it is the cost of war. and then we have 400 more terrorist and people who want to kill the united states because
7:23am
-- bloodshed is never a good thing. host: let's look at some of the numbers we're seeing from the new america foundation. this is from "the baltimore sun" on estimated civilian deaths in u.s. jones strikes in pakistan. you can see the numbers from 2008 until last year -- the low end to the high end. 23-28 in 2008, a high between 66-80 civilian deaths in 2009. last year, five. the number of drone strikes in pakistan overall -- you can see the numbers as well, from 2008- 2012. last year, 48 drone strikes. william in the maine. republican gary caller: good morning. maybe one day we will be able to take our country back. i think we were founded as a very nice country, with christian thought.
7:24am
i will be of drones in this sector -- but marco rubio has been criticized. he said to the savior was. we are being overtaken by liars. if you want the truth, though 180 degrees. i did not know what flying words what john brennan says, it does not matter what words he says. what matters is the reality of the truth of that what he says. our country is being demolished. anything good is being destroyed. we've got a country that talks about sandy hook and the value of children yet they kill -- like the gentleman mentioned, wedding parties, with kids picking up wood to celebrate their father. it is the most sickening thing. it is the most antichrist. cbs, givinglook at coverage of "time" magazine's
7:25am
cover. a viewer tweets in -- "the washington times" looks at john brennan's hearing yesterday and says the commander in chief has the right to order targeted killing but, john brennan agreed, congress should be more involved in knowing what is happening. senator dianne feinstein, democrat from california, had an exchange. let's listen. [video clip] >> i would like to ask you about the status of the administration's effort to institutionalize rules and procedures for the conduct of drones strikes. in particular, how you see your role as cia director in the approval process.
7:26am
>> as of this committee knows, and i am sure once to continue to protect certain covert action activities. but let me talk generally about the counter-terrorism program and the role of the cia and its effort to try to institutionalize and ensure we have as rigorous a process as possible. that we feel we are taking the appropriate action at the appropriate time. the president insisted any action we take will be legally grounded, will be thoroughly anchored in intelligence. will have the appropriate review process, approval process before any action is contemplated, including those actions that might involve the use of lethal force. the different parts of the government involved in the process are part of the interagency and as terrorism -- , the tourism advisor, it was to organize in the past two years ensure any action to take fully is what the law and meet the
7:27am
standards that i think this committee and the american people expect, meaning taking actions to protect the american people, while at the same time make sure we do anything possible before we need to resort to lethal force. host: john brennan testified yesterday. here is "the new york times" reporting.
7:28am
calvin from texas, democrats' line. good morning. caller: i hear everybody calling in about a drone strikes and what the government is doing and the congress has the right to know. the do not thing congress needs to know. they interfere with everything our government tries to do. the only thing our government is trying to do is protect american lives. complaining about one of the terrorist, al-awlaki -- killed while they were traveling to the. to do you think terrorist worry about when the americans? look at 9/11. do you think they were read about how many innocent people. when it is war it is simply war and people need to quit crying about what the government is doing. the government has a right to do what they are doing.
7:29am
of you are in a car along with somebody burned a time we come back to you, oh well, that is just a part of war. that is what i have to say. host: from nbc news, it says the scores of people go to terrorist target by drums drugs -- three men all killed in the fall of 2011 were u.s. citizens. the lives of a straight the complexity of the issue come to light in a newly discovered memo which outlines reasons for drone strikes. as you mentioned, anwar al- awlaki and khan were killed in 2011 and al-awlaki's son was killed in the country just weeks later. hurdle beach, south carolina. independent line. welcome. caller: i am decades-long watcher. first-time caller. bear with me if i am a little nervous. what i mainly got to say on the drones is i think we need to go
7:30am
ahead with the program. i think it is a good program. i think what people have to keep in mind is we are at war with al-qaeda. if you are at war, you use the weapons at your disposal. a terrible decision, wwii the authorized the use of the atomic bomb -- i think it was the right decision. basically if you are at war, you are at war. that is all i have to say about it. except that i do concur that we need some oversight, and i do concur what what became out of the hearings that we should not have the president's as the complete judge, jury, or executors. with oversight, i think the drone program is a perfect idea.
7:31am
host: thanks for calling. here are some other stories in the news. outgoing secretary of defense leon panetta testified yesterday and here is that mine in "the washington times." here is the headline from when " the new york times" on secretary panetta testifying. the divisions on what to do about one of the issues facing the white house, the rising violence in syria, spilled into public view for the first time
7:32am
in a blunt exchange. it says secretary panetta and joint chiefs dempsey revealed they supported a plan last year to arm carefully vetted syrian rebels but it was ultimately vetoed by the white house. some other stories in the news. in measure would strengthen the mental health care system. a bipartisan group of senators have renewed urgency after the massacre at sandy hook elementary introduce legislation yesterday aimed at strengthening the nation's fragmented mental health system and improving access at the committee level. that is from "the washington post." here is "the baltimore sun" -- lawmakers are having a mixed reaction to the post office plan to go to five-day first-class delivery. lawmakers wrestled on how to adjust the announcements.
7:33am
that is "the washington post." and immigration is also in the newspaper this morning. advocates are pushing republicans to support a path to citizenship. and the success of immigrant children have been measured in a new study. it says americans born to immigrant parents, many of the adults children are doing better than their parents on tempore and measures of social economic success in education. they are outperforming the population as a will. -- as a whole. a tax holiday ends so consumers are sprinting, says "the wall street journal." there is this story and "the washington post" that says retail sales are rising these days. we will dig more into that over the coming weeks as we look at
7:34am
consumer spending. our question this morning is about drone strikes. government secrecy and the public's right to know. how do you prioritize those? we will go to al in atlanta on the republican line. what do you think? caller: i think that the drone program is one of the best programs in the world. most people when you realize -- do not realize, when you are in war, it is killed or be killed. when i served in vietnam, that is the attitude i had. the decision -- we should let the decision maker make a decision about terrorism because of the bill make a decision, what would happen is we would have lives in this country -- they will come into this country and terrorized the citizens of the united states. that is all i got to say. host: how much do you think the
7:35am
public should know about the government's decision? caller: i think it should be limited because you got a war going on. if everybody knows what is going and thee government's decision maker cannot make good decisions, then i do not think the public should get involved in that. because they were confused about a program they really do not have knowledge about perry -- and knowledge about. host: eric tweets in -- what happens to courts for its citizens? senator chambliss, top republican, on the used about enhance interrogation techniques. [video clip] >> what steps did you take to stop the cia from moving to these techniques you now say you found objectionable at the time?
7:36am
>> i did not take steps to stop the cia's use of the techniques. i was not in the chain of command. i was deputy executive director. i had responsibility for overseeing the management of the agency in all of its various functions. and i was aware of the program. d and some of the documents but i had no knowledge -- i was not involved in the creation. i expressed personal objections and used to colleagues about certain of those like water boarding, nudity, and others where i professed my personal objections to it but i did not try to stop it because it was something that was being done in a different part of the agency under the authority of others. and it was something that was directed by the administration at the time. >> you said you expressed objection to other colleagues. have you ever expressed concern to direct a tenant, john mclaughlin, executive director or any of the leaders -- concern to director tenent?
7:37am
>> what my agency colleagues on a broad range of issues during the period of time. we would have personal conversations on that. host: the nominee to be the cia director john brennan testified yesterday before the senate intelligence committee. here are some facebook comments. dana writes in -- jay says -- april says -- that is c-span on facebook. texas. democrats' line. go ahead. caller: thank you very much for taking my call. host: thanks for calling. caller: this is my first time calling. host: welcome. caller: well -- thank you.
7:38am
my opinion about the drones, should we notified the public when we are going? should president obama publish that he was going to kill bin laden? i think whatever powers we have to make americans save, we should do that. i think the public view, they want to know too much about what is going on secretly. and congress, too. they get before the public and a stage a big show. they want to pretend they are interested in everything that is going on. and most of them are lying. i feel that president obama is
7:39am
doing the right thing. i think that congress should be notified. they should be kept abreast of what is going on. but i also feel that -- there are a lot of leaks in politics. and the public knows -- if the public knows exactly what will happen, then our enemies know. i agree it is not humane. there is a problem with who we strike. but what are we going to do? we have to fight terrorist some kind of way, and we have to fight it the best way we know how. if using drones of the best way, that i feel that is what we should do. that is my opinion. thank you very much for having me on. host: thank you for sharing your opinion. conversation on twitter --
7:40am
opinions and op-ed pages run the gamut. eugene robinson -- the burden of drones, judge, jury, executioner. an opinion and another paper. in "the wall street journal" --
7:41am
and other opinions are on the pages of the paper. david brooks writes in "the new york times" -- donald is up next. tennessee. independent. cookville? >> that is correct. how are you doing here this morning?
7:42am
on secrecy -- i thought this was supposed to be the most transparent administration ever. i guess it is not that way. as far as secrecy. let me put it this way. chris rock was on the news yesterday saying the president and his wife were the father and mother of this nation. wrong -- the government is kind of like a teenager. you keep a tight leash of them until they prove themselves responsible very we do -- responsible. so we do need to know what is going on. as far as drones -- basically it is a good idea. i really do feel sorry for the collateral damage, but what do you expect when you are fighting people who will deliberately hide behind women and children? things are going to happen. what i would like to know is why did anybody not have enough common sense with our technology to put something on these drones where if they lose remote- control contact, they automatically self-destruct?
7:43am
we have a good piece of technology that fell into iranian hands. that is about it. thank you. host: albany, georgia. republican caller. good morning. hi, styles. you are on the air. caller: first of all, i am curious how many of the callers wechsler responded have served in the military during wartime or not or lost their lives or bring family members lost their lives due to what we are dealing with in the middle east. i am curious how many of them spent any time in the middle east to know what is going on and understand the enemy we are actually fighting against. it is not a warfare we are typically used to. the drones are not only a good idea, it is an excellent idea. from where i stand. again, i would like to add this as well. the american people need to know that not only are we hunting
7:44am
terrorists, but we actually have military specialist being hunted in our country today. if you do not believe it is true, look in your local archives, go to your court houses. there are people on this soil who are hiding and running from terrorists because of their service for our country. that is of the people need to think about. host: you served in the military? caller: no, ma'am. every family member i have -- but due to physical reasons i am not able but i had a cousin killed in iraq, he spent 25 years as a navy seal and was assassinated in baghdad. host: sorry about your loss. how does it play out in terms about what the american public should know? should people with clearance be told more, people who served in the military no more? caller: i think the least the american bible know, the better
7:45am
off they are. basically they live in glass houses anyway. -- the least the american people know, the better off they are. you sit and listen to all of this it does make you crazy. when you know for a fact -- because you know people personally -- they are being hunted by terrorists from other countries, and they are here on our soil. it is -- don't kid yourself thinking it is happening over there, it is not. host: a caller mentioned iran and a drone that went down in iran allegedly. here is a story from cnn this week. iran says it decoded and released footage from a year of a strong that was down more than a year ago. we have been talking about defense issues. defense secretary leon panetta's farewell ceremony is today. c-span will be broadcasting a live 3:45 p.m. eastern time. you can catch it on c-span.
7:46am
learn more about on our website, c-span.org. michael is our last call. salt lake city. democrat. caller: what is a drone? i think people have some sort of misconception about it. it is a remotely highly vehicle, controlled by humans. not much different than if you had an f-16 flying over circling around. more than likely there is somebody on the ground identifying the target. somehow they have to identify the target before they make a strike. so, the either have somebody on the ground or electronic intelligence to find that out. also, like killing bin laden -- they could have used a drug to do that. what is the difference? they still killed him. i think people have a misconception about how remotely
7:47am
piloted vehicle -- what it is, what the function is. and if you -- on the secrecy part -- if you release the information about who you are killing and how you got the information and where they are, the more you release that kind of information, the more our intelligence services suffer. because they are no longer a bird -- able to function in secret. because if you let everything out, it is no longer a secret. it is self defeating. so, anyway, that is what i wanted to say. i really appreciate c-span. and you are doing a wonderful job. thank you so much. host:monty tweets in --
7:48am
coming up next on "washington journal," we will look at al jazeera's news media expansion, al jazeera america, with bob wheelock, and we will look at a large bonuses for treasury department executives with christy romero. we will be right back. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> having observed a steady improvement in the opportunities and well-being of our citizens, i can report to you the state of this old but youthful union is good. >> once again, in keeping with a time honored tradition i come to report to you on the state of the union. and i am pleased to report that america is much improved. and there is good reason to
7:49am
believe that improvement will continue in the days to come. >> my duty tonight is to report on the state of the union. not the state of our government, but of our american community. and to set forth our responsibilities, and the words of our founders, to form a more perfect union. the state of the union is strong. >> as we gather tonight, our nation is at war, our economy is in recession, and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. yet, the state of our union has never been stronger. >> it is because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward. and the state of our union is strong. >> tuesday, president obama deliver as of this year's address live on c-span. with our preview program starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern
7:50am
and the president at 9:00, followed by the gop response and your reaction. tuesday night on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. >> first lady helen taft on discussing politics. but i always had the satisfaction knowing almost as much as he about the intricacies of an assiduous in. i think any woman can discuss with the -- with their husband national interest. i became phil yet -- familiar with more than politics. >> helen taft, whose husband, william howard taft, was the only man to serve as president and supreme court justice. one of the women who served as first lady in the new original series "first ladies -- influence and image." their public and private lives, influence on the public. but despite the white house historical sketch which. season one begins president's day, february 18, 9:00 eastern and pacific on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org.
7:51am
>> "washington journal" continues. host: bob wheelock with al jazeera american, executive producer. good morning and thank you. al jazeera is expanding its coverage in the united states. give us a sense who kedzie al jazeera english right now in the u.s.? guest: we believe it is 4.5 million people who can see it on various cable networks in some of the larger cities and then some smaller independent operators in smaller cities. a good part of the traffic has been people who streamed it online. that is a pretty dedicated following. in fact, with the very large online content and was determined 40% comes from the united states. host: an appetite. guest: there is an appetite clearly. how much will translate toward cable channels again -- some of these folks dedicated online streamers -- that is a challenge. but we hope we can provide
7:52am
interesting content and sort of have some people cross over. host: al jazeera purchased current tv in december of last year. how will that expand the american audience? who will you be able to reach now? guest: potentially estimated 50 million viewers. if you talk, 4.5 million homes to 50 million homes, a great leap for us and a great deal. one of the things we thought for years and distribution in the americas. this opens some eyeballs to us, and we hope it gives people a chance to see our coverage, to sample it for those who have not seen it, and again, provide another platform for the core audience we have. host: here are some facts about al jazeera english. 24 hour global news network. in places like new york city, washington, d.c., and others like vermont, ohio.
7:53am
some programs are carried on link tv, so they carry a couple items. 95 million visits to the website in 2011. and bob wheelock, 40% from the united states. al jazeera america will be available and 40 million more homes. why expand the reach? what is the mission of reaching more americans? guest: it is part of a global expansion. we have a turkish general, ballston channel. there are plans for a swahili channel. plans for traditional channels after this. i think it was determined years ago -- and i was not there at the time -- that there was an absence of coverage of large segments of the population of the world. it was also felt that a large segment of that population was underserved or did not trust their broadcasters and the countries. but we do have research that
7:54am
shows an astonishingly high number of yours in africa get their news from al jazeera. they did not trust their state run newscasts as much. so, it is an alternative. we have 70 bureaus around the world of various sizes. but it gives a breadth of coverage to report places where other people are not. just the other day -- we are in mali with all of what is going there, and they were planning a soccer match with nigeria. we had back-to-back reports from mali and nigeria -- and who else has that? it is astonishing. haze bob we lock is executive producer of the americas 4 al jazeera english and helping to establish the new al jazeera america channel -- the largest july? guest: we also. ambitious. we made a lot of progress but a lot to do. host: if you would like to get
7:55am
in the conversation -- host: how well al jazeera america differ from al jazeera arabic? guest: al jazeera english is drastically different. al jazeera america -- as a base line, looking at 60% domestic content and 40% international. any given day depending on the news flow, we are not going to stick to that as a hard and fast thing. but that is the overall content. what it allows us -- the expansion also gives us more resources in the united states. we have five bureaus in the united states right now, four in latin america. we will increase it to 11 overall in the united states and one in toronto. a total of eight in latin america, is the plan.
7:56am
obviously it allows us more breadth of coverage, trying to place the bureau's strategically. one of the biggest frustrations for me is sometimes the stories we can't do in america because the resources are stretched thin. so, we are looking forward to covering more stories about the people of america, their day-to- day lives, the things they're going through, and in many cases, the solutions that have come up with to try to make the lives better and to try to overcome some of obstacles they face every day. be it health care, the economy, education. americans are incredibly resourceful people and i think it is probably the best the melting pot of stories that we can hope to fish from. host: let's watch an excerpt from al jazeera english coverage of the boy scouts of america debate right now over whether or not members and leaders, openly gay members and leaders, should be allowed. here's how al jazeera english cover that. [video clip] >> being a boy scout is a tradition passed down for generations here of the united
7:57am
states, but policies here in the u.s. contrasts sharply to international counterparts. for example, homosexuals are not restricted from membership in canada or even most european associations. even the u.s. girls scouts have a different policy, accepting gay and transgendered members into their association. the boys scouts of america have almost 3 million members, and 70% of the troops are sponsored by church groups who oppose homosexuality. in 2000, the u.s. supreme court ruled the group has a constitutional right to refuse a members. it is a policy many parents want of help. >> it is not hate, not bigotry. it is a choice about how to raise my children and what i perceive to be my christian values. >> on sunday, president obama weighed in, urging the group to open its membership to everyone. >> of the boy scouts are unwilling to lift the ban. they simply will not be relevant to a generation decided to embrace lgbt brothers,
7:58am
sisters, co-workers, friends. >> for now, the ban remains in place. scout leaders say they need more time to consider and consult before deciding whether to overturn this century-old policy. al jazeera, washington. host: that is an excerpt from al jazeera english, one of the news programs. bob wheelock, what is the lens or voice your journalistic approach your stories with? guest: it is not different from any other broadcaster, i don't think. we look for the truth. we look to tell the story for the people and to give people a voice. we will go out and search and try to find simple characters, often, to drive the story, to try to give it something that you can invest in as a viewer. but, you know, assembly and on the story like that -- it is a news story of the day so it is barely cut and dry.
7:59am
we make a great effort to get all voices in. and then tried to leave the viewer -- here is the information, what people are saying. you decide. it is not for us to tell people how they should feel either way. we tried to present it and let them have some information from which they can make an intelligent decision about how they feel about a decision like that. host: michael from centreville, of virginia. democrats' line. caller: you just mentioned that the lens you approach your coverage with is a search for the truth. i am afraid to say is my experience with you is a little bit different. i am american from egyptian origin. i was listening to your coverage of the egyptian revolution two years ago. my experience was very discouraging, to say the least. your coverage of the event was inaccurate. you exaggerated the numbers of
8:00am
people on the streets when the events were actually to your liking. and he played down the numbers of the youth of the streets when the coverage of the events was not very much to your liking. i do want to ask you if you have any affiliation with the government of qatar, because as far as i remember, the egyptian youth who actually led the revolution did not like your coverage of it and kick your journalist of of the streets when he attempted to cover the event. the military supreme council who led egypt for two years but not like you and the almost kick you out of the country. so, do you really think your extension and the u.s. would be different? host: host: where are you getting your fax? caller: i was in complete
8:01am
contact with my friend during the revolution. [inaudible] host: are starting to break up. guest: far as the relationship with the government of qatar, the royal family owns the channel. as far as any relationship, i have had, i have never met anyone from qatar and i have never said i have to do a story is certain way. i have had no editorial interference at all from anyone. in regards to our coverage, it won numerous awards around of the world and many other networks took our coverage and broadcast it. there were millions of people on the streets and millions of points of view. you say we were kicked out of the country and forced to leave the country by the government but i would say that says that maybe they did not like our coverage because they felt we
8:02am
were providing too much coverage of the revolution and the people. there is a myth that we have a great relationship with every middle eastern government but a few of them don't care for us. we seek the truth. we talk to the people in the streets and hear from protesters and put people in great harm to cover that. we lost a cameraman a week ago in syria who was killed on duty. we do seek the truth. most of the time i think we get it right but there is a million people on the street and you will get a few diverse opinions. i appreciate yours. host:bob wheelock is with aljazeera english. he also worked at nbc news a
8:03am
while ago, 1989-1991, a senior producer for "the today show." let's go back to the phones from alexandria, republican caller. caller: good morning, i have a couple of comments to make. the first point -- aljazeera journalists in iraq in 2004-2005 were identified and found out to be directly aiding and abetting a annamese of u.s. forces on the ground and directly contributed by spotting and targeting american sources for the enemy directly leading to the death of american troops in iraq. i think that is something that the listeners of the show should be aware of. i read the aljazeera website consistently. i think the news is different
8:04am
but the editorial portions are so strongly anti-american. of these articles are talking about the downfall of america and the strength of america. last week, when president obama announced an increase in aiding and humanitarian aid to syrian civilians in the refugee camps in southern turkey, aljazeera randy article how america by not giving weapons to the free syrian army was actually in directly assisting extremists like al-qaeda. that would be fighting their leading in directly to an extremist result. maybe you can comment -- it is my opinion that you are a voice for the other side and your not an independent newschannel and it is strongly anti-american and it leads to a pretty entire
8:05am
american sentiment. i have very good friends to speak arabic and they would tell you about the entire american debate that goes there and the support of ideas that is anti- american just does not stop. host: before we let you go, you said you will still go to the website for new stories. do you find those to be fair? caller: they do post stuff on africa and the east asia but these are not things you would hear about in your normal newschannel and the u.s.. i look at it with a big grain of salt. i was present when aljazeera was on board and they were covering one of the things we were doing now. -- doing there. i think they were doing their best but when you get to the
8:06am
editorials, you have some unbelievably radical opinion column nests and radical editorials that are leading to the coverage of your news. i think it is harmful. i would question was your motivation is and where your personal loyalty lies. let host: give him a chance to respond. guest: as to the last point first -- i am an american and was born here in washington, d.c. at the air force base and my father was military. i have no doubts about my respect for this country and for what it stands for. on your assertion that aljazeera crews were helping spot and harm americans, that allegation has been made and has never been substantiated. i did a call in show a couple of weeks ago and a gentleman who was in iraq at the time and was
8:07am
assigned to handling the media, he brought that up when asked by me and another panelist not from aljazeera if he had ever seen anything like that. he admitted that he had just heard it. there are a lot of things that have been set -- said that took place that have never been proven to be true. the aljazeera office in iraq was bombed. maybe it was a coincidence, i don't know. the editorials are that -- they are editorials and i cannot vouch for them or a test to them. we produced news content from the united states. i am proud of that. it is not pro or anti but we try to be editorial collect at -- correct and not politically correct. sometimes people will not agree. it is important to move that needle.
8:08am
i think you have failed to institute any thinking about these issues or start discussion. i take umbrage at to question in my role and my patriotism. if you can cite specifics and the time and date, i will try to find it. these are charges mostly by people who have never watched of the channel. host: this is a story from "the guardian."
8:09am
guest: the search is beginning for the new faces of aljazeera. there was over 11,000 revs amazed -- resumes the other day so it is interesting. we hope to find journalists who are respected and known for their journalism. we would like them to have some identity and recognition with american viewers and that will help. we want them to be known for the right reasons, good journalism, a good credibility, and not so much for their personality or their celebrity. host: here are some facts -- some more details about the network -- it reaches over 260
8:10am
million homes in over 130 countries and staff members include over 400 journalists in 70 bureaus around the world. this is from twitter -- are you bucking a trend? guest: we are and it is a trend of conventional wisdom. i have worked at american networks for almost 30 years and i was a london bureau chief and worked there for abc. they did cut back. covering international news is expensive. they will provide to the picture and not the context or actual reporting. you can take that picture and voice over so feels international or in washington. we've got boots on the ground, people in mali, nigeria, people in bangladesh. it is not everyone's cup of tea.
8:11am
i don't believe every american can't wake up and say what is happening in mali today but many people are not happy with what they are getting from american television news networks and they have broader interests. the web site traffic indicates -- the last year or even admitted he gets some news on aljazeera that he does not get from other places. that is our audience. host: brooklyn, new york, democrats online. caller: good morning, i am looking forward to aljazeera english this is what i am expecting from aljazeera in english -- once in awhile it would be nice if you talked about the truth of 9/11 why architects and engineers have asked for a new
8:12am
investigation. why wouldn't the government support a 9/11 investigation? host: this is from twitter -- tell us about that sale. guest: it means nothing for me personally. for the network, is an opportunity. we were trying several different ways to get exposure and distribution in the united states. al gore launched of this channel and it was not doing well with
8:13am
ratings. peter de approach them or we approach -- or they approached us and it became available. we have to come up with a whole new channel so it is a lot of work and a lot of risk and a lot of people make a big deal out of the cost that was paid for the purchase of the channel. i don't have the numbers totally correct but i believe when fox had false starts and trying to get distribution, i think they paid $1 billion to get their distribution. it is a big stakes money game and we wanted to have distribution in the united states and felt there is an audience. the investment was made. host: our next caller is from oregon, republican. caller: thanks for taking my call. i have watched your show on link tv and i feel you are very
8:14am
slant-eyed. i am very concerned about the stuff going on in our country with the muslim community and i feel your outrage will be toward the muslim community. i am very concerned about one group in oregon. i am surprised to see that you are here in america because we would not be allowed to do what you are doing in a moslem community or another country. i am concerned of what i see and i know you probably have accolades from obama because i feel he is backing more of the moslem community than he is the american people. host: let's talk about these concerns. guest: again, in our reporting, in the content we provide, there is no anti-jewish sentiment. our reporters are americans, canadians, one or two folks from
8:15am
the united kingdom. we strive here in america to provide fair, objective coverage. i think we do a really good job of it and if you watch what is aljazeera english and watch the content coming from the united states, i think you would agree. i would disagree that a moslem countries you cannot have american broadcasts. it is not censored or filter. there may have been a time years ago when that was the case but that is certainly not the case now. again, i have never been told that i cannot do a story that i have to shake up the story is certainly or use terminology or phrase in that is not comfortable. on any day, there is editorial questions over how story should play and how high up it should go but that is in the newsroom
8:16am
of every newspaper, television, and news from in the country. host: oakland, maryland, welcome. caller: thanks for taking my call. i became a current year were about one year ago and i have gotten into it. i am concerned that now that you have lots of channels, what will happen bill press the morning and your other regulars? i appreciate their point of view and i hope there are enough slots instead of all the programming where you will put new programming but you need to keep some commentary. have you decided these things yet to? guest: we are working out the grid. it is a huge challenge for
8:17am
obvious programming reasons and facilities and that kind of thing. regarding the folks, i have met personally with a number of this stuff and my colleagues have met with the staff on the west coast. they have some terrific people and we are hoping to integrate as many as possible. we want to use them in aljazeera and i must say, the response has been overwhelming from them about wanting to join. and believing what the journal is meant to be. hopefully, who knows? you may see some familiarity and you may not lose everything from the current situation. host:bob wheelock is the executive producer for aljazeera americas end of the new channel will launch this summer. his work has won four emmys, a dupont, and a peabody award and went to college right here at
8:18am
george washington university. john, west chester, pa., independent line. caller: i am not surprised -- i think aljazeera is a breath of fresh air in america. i hope you even out the bias from channels like msnbc and fox. host: have you watched aljazeera english? >> yes, i watch all the time on youtube. i watch a parade much every night. they have good programs like " inside syria." i think it gives a different perspective on the middle east which we don't find in america of at least not regularly. guest: thank you, john. part of what we want to do at aljazeera america is to provide the same sort prism and a look
8:19am
at the united states. we have a show called "inside story america." we just completed a three-part done special which is not an original idea but bush -- but the first show had to hear from people who feel better -- it is their right to own guns and let's hear from them and say why. i told us that we don't do this year is if we cannot start from that. we are say -- we say we are the voice of the voices and i personally think gun owners -- too many people are speaking on their behalf saying what they should think. we want to hear from them so we got into a gun show and a gun store. it is less easy when you are aljazeera but the folks welcomed us and and the feedback was tremendous. i am really proud of the job step did because the first show was all about those people of this country, intelligently
8:20am
describing why they feel they should or need to own firearms. it is not something i have heard a lot of other channel and i think that is what we need to do. lyuse the phrase 'editorial correct, not politically correct.' this is a voice and this is a country where the voices are supposed to be heard. that is what this channel is supposed to be about and that is what we hope to accomplish. host: from twitter -- guest: a little symbol is about the peninsula. it is the peninsula in the persian gulf and the middle east. there are some people who said you should drop aljazeera from the name. we don't want to run and we don't want to pretend we are
8:21am
some that we are not. it is aljazeera geared toward coverage of the united states of america. it is aljazeera to cover the issues of the people in america. we did another call in show and i was touched because we got a call from a listener in louisiana, a fisherman. he cited our continuous coverage of the bp oil spill. we did a three-part series showing scientifically the effects of the fish and wildlife. there was also the economic impact and he said you guys have stayed on this story and thank you. you guys continue to press on this story. all the other networks show up when katrina heads and they go away again. we have a commitment to stay on the story. we did it in haiti we did with the oil spill and the tent -- intend to do it across america. host: how much access to your journalists have now and will they have?
8:22am
guest: we have access. we have people who have passes to get in but not enough. we tend to not cover congress on a daily basis for the white house on a daily basis. we try to cover it when the issue that we think is important enough -- with the american channel, is focused more on american content, we will increase that. we like to be the outside looking in a little bit and question it. as a longtime washington journalist, there is a tendency to become part of a new cover. we find it refreshing to be a little bit outside. i think the programming will demand more and comprehensive coverage from washington, d.c. host: annapolis, maryland, republican line --
8:23am
♪ i appreciate aljazeera coming to america myself. i find that al gore has made a big step in what has been considered a media issue based on his philosophy. since the 1980's when ronald reagan release date fcc rules and many television stations merged into the five you see today. i think we need to have a clear understanding -- when brian williams says this station is owned by ge before a story -- that people understand what he says that. they do have an agenda based on their ownership.
8:24am
host: thank you. guest: i would agree. i worked at nbc and i've worked at abc when disney took over. the influence was never as harsh or severe as anyone on the outside would assume. there are very few independent news organizations. most of them are tied to some corporate ownership and some are tied to government-or run things and funded by governments and taxpayers. bbc is one and it does not mean you do not do good journalism. we still hire people -- we have 11,000 people or so applying for jobs. these are not people that we know of -- in the job description it does not say you need and it tended to be anti- anything.
8:25am
these are people who want to work and tell stories in a different way in america. we think there is an opening for that and market research shows that. our challenge will be to get those viewers and tried to bring them into our tent. we always say that if you watch us, you like us. most of the complaints about the coverage on the telecom from people who have never watched the channel. host: one of our earlier callers talked about the relationship to the qatar government. is there a plan to be self- sufficient financially? guest: we have to run commercials to broadcast in the united states. we run very few on the aljazeera english channel. most of them are for various airlines that a middle east- related. as a producer, you welcome commercials occasionally which
8:26am
gives you a chance to figure out where you are going next. we are probably one of the few airbirds that has tried to negotiate the air minutes we have to run. we are not dependent on the revenue from the commercials. any money that is made will go into the pot for the coverage. aljazeera spends its money on coverage. and being able to have a ♪ caller: 70 bureaus around the world and provide the cost of the trouble to cover stories in places where other people are not. the commercial time, we've got to work it out in our programming and it is a little bit of a challenge on our long form documentary program and we have to re-edit some of these things and make it seem as with commercial inserts. for the first time, because of the relationship with cable distribution, we need to meet
8:27am
some expectations for ratings. aljazeera has had the luxury of not caring about ratings or revenue. it is almost like programming for yourself sometimes. now there will be a bar we need to reach for cable distributors. we think we will be able to do that and we hope we can. we think if we get one or two shows going really well and people see them and they say they like that, we will build the audience. host: grand rapids, mich., democrats line, welcome. caller: i would like to make a comment -- i would like to tell all the americans out there, don't be afraid of getting more news. for example, a few weeks ago, i kind of watched my local news and i usually watch nbc and then aljazeera english here in grand rapids which is on our public access tv station.
8:28am
like those three women that were murdered in france by the extremist side of moslems, they did not talk about that for a couple of days on the regular news. to me, that was an important story worldwide. they needed to let us know there are people out there trying to stop people from doing the right thing and, with aljazeera, i get that story. i did not get it anywhere else. we need to look at aljazeera as another piece of the news puzzle so we get the full story of how the world works. i would also like to say it is kind of ironic that al gore made his money selling his tv station. just wanted to make that
8:29am
comment, thank you. guest: i think you said it well -- don't fear the news or information. that is what we operate on. you cited a good example of coverage that might not be popular to some in the middle east world but of a story we did and we had to do. it is an event that took place and we needed to give it context and there is interest in these stories. host: new york, independent line. caller: morning, that caller got my ideas down. you have done a good job of presenting the program. i don't have it right now but i am not happy with the mainstream news programs. i watch rt america and spanish and i enjoy their international coverage. i will be getting on my cable company to see what i have to do
8:30am
to get aljazeera. you have done a good job this morning. host:rt is a russia today. here is one last tweet -- here is a story from "new york times the media distributor." guest: time warner had intentions to drop tv because of its low ratings. they are now are being aced -- s to replace it with aljazeera america. there's nothing to see yet. they have watched aljazeera english coverage and the negotiations have been under way. i also live in brooklyn, channel
8:31am
92 on time warner carries aljazeera. it is on as we speak in new york. ultimately, i hope they will carry it. it is an important carrier that presents a wide variety of channels and news and the spectrum for is people and we would like to be part of that. we don't think there is any reason we should not be. host: bob wheelock is executive producer for the americas and this started -- trying to establish the new aljazeera america channel. coming up next, we'll take a look at critical reporting about bonuses paid to company executives related to the u.s. bailout. later on, our america by the numbers segment.
8:32am
>> church is the most visited historic site. over half a million people come to this church every year. they come here not because of our pews are incredible clock and oregon. they come because of the events of the night of april 18, a teens -- 1775. what happened here on that night is still a genuine historical mystery. we have very few records about what actually was heard on the night that paul revere's plan got carried out in this church we know that there was a plan and had been set up ahead of time with other members. he set up on a sunday of april 18, -- 1775 pre-dawn know who
8:33am
helped him carry out that plan. >> mystery of boston's old north church on american artifacts sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern and pacific, part of american history tv this weekend on cspan 3. >> what i have discovered as i have got more older and mature is the worst strategy to achieve happiness in life is to make that your primary goal. if you make happiness what you were striving for, you will not probably achieve it. instead, you'll end up being narcissistic, self involved, carrying -- caring about your own pleasure and satisfaction in life. what i found is that happiness is a byproduct of other things. as a byproduct of meaningful work and family and friends and good health and love and care.
8:34am
we get happen is not by aiming directly for it but by throwing ourselves into projects involving ourselves and fundamentally trying to have integrity and be a good person. >> del wholefoods co-founder and ceo examines how the inherent goodness of business and capitalism can lead to a better world, sunday night at 9:00 on c-span 2. find more book-tv online. >> "washington journal"continue as. host: christie romero is the inspector general for the sigtarp. guest: we are the watchdog. over the bailout. when congress made the bailout, they wanted a very independent watchdog.
8:35am
we are a criminal law enforcement agencies so we investigate crime related to the bail out and we also watch all the dollars. we try to bring transparency and bring oversight to this. that is what we are doing. host: christy romario is the inspector general and came up with a report recently that looks at executive pay for the companies that took belau dollars. -- that to bail out to dollars. guest: pre-for those companies,
8:36am
the treasury has a pay czaar and his job is to set the pay packages for each of the top 25 am pleased for each year. we did a report last year looking at pay in 2009 and 2011 and we said treasury did not fail to rein in excess of pay and awarded a multi million pay packages to the top executives of these companies. for 2012, we continued and looked and once again, treasury awarded multimillion pay packages but it had gotten worse. host: here is that report and if you want to join the conversation -- who is responsible for that?
8:37am
guest: treasury is ultimately responsible. they set the guidelines on the payback in the day or roll them back. the first pay czar told sigtarp that he was under conflicting principles -- keeping companies competitive in pay but he also ultimately wanted to make sure the employees had scan in the game. --skin in the game. he came up with some guidelines. the guidelines were supposed to balance these principles. the first guideline was cash salaries should rarely be over $500,000 and should be well under it. the second guideline was recognizing the fact that these companies were bailed out and they should be targeted at the 50th percentile of a similar company would similar employees
8:38am
and the third, it needs to be tied to some performance goal met later. those are the guidelines he put in place and those of the guidelines that were ultimately rolled back. host: you are talking about kenneth feinberg who was the pay czar. what kind of amount of money are we talking about? guest: they are astounding. by treasury's own standards they are excessive. we are talking about 25 people at the company's left, aig, gm, and gmac which financed cars and did some prime mortgages -- the floor is $1 million. if you work for one of those companies and are one of the top 25 employees, treasury awarded $1 million. if you work at aig, the floor is $2 million. most got well above that.
8:39am
more than half of these executives the treasury approved were $3 million or more. 16 got $5 million or more. the pay adds up to $100 million. you also have to look at cash salaries which went through the roof. all of a sudden, instead of having cash salaries rarely be over $500,000, 70% of these employees got treasury-approved cash salaries of $500,000 or more we want to look just below that and sure enough, in cash, a yearly salary, 94% got approved by treasury. on top of that, pay raises and removing the long term pay that was ties to meaningful performance measures. host: talking about a retort report aboutsigtarp.
8:40am
your report comes out and what happens? the front page of this report says treasury is still approving excessive pay, what next? guest: 1 change so we made a series of recommendations and said treasury put in some criteria. when is it a proper for someone to be paid $500,000 in cash salary or more? they did not do that. they did not make any meaningful reforms. we are saying it again we have to bring attention to this. we have to bring attention to the american people who funded these companies and their bailout. there's a fundamental fairness issue here. as people are struggling and you have the average income of
8:41am
americans funding the bailout at $50,000, when you look at a gm employee who gets a $50,000 raised because gm wants to do something extra, that was the explanation -- americans who founded the bail out needs to know that. we will continue to push for change not only at the company's left in tarp but ultimately it should shed a light on how the financial crisis was in part driven by excess of pay that led to excess of risk. that is the bigger picture that has to be looked at. when you look at aig that has now repaid tarp, treasury will no longer set the pay package but is aig going to return to their past practices? it is up to the federal reserve and now regulates a ig to make sure that does not happen. host: let's hear from mark in st. paul, minnesota. caller: the treasury is always
8:42am
about goldman sachs. does that have anything to do with it? guest: that's an interesting question. how did treasury treat the larger institutions? secretary gunnar who has just left the treasury department did not actually come from goldman sachs. he was at the federal reserve bank of new york before he was treasury secretary. it raises an important issue because throughout the history of this bailout, there has been a different treatment for the large institutions than there have been for the smaller institutions. that is of critical importance. one example of that is all the energy that went into trying to get the larger institutions out of tarp, while forgetting about the hundreds of smaller banks in
8:43am
tarp and there are still 300 small institutions involved as well as struggling homeowners who still need assistance from tarp - we have been trying to remind people not to give up on the people who still feel the effects of the financial crisis. host: battleground, washington, independent line. caller: i have been following this fairly closely for the last five years and i have noticed brian lamb is had excellent interviews and i have seen sheila bair from the fdic. the biggest point that everyone seems to be missing is it is not whether or not people are receiving bonuses or who has paid back on much of tarp, who cares how much they have paid back? the big point that they are missing is the glaring
8:44am
contradiction. the last four decades as factory workers lost their jobs and small farmers got wiped out, we were receiving these lectures about the free market, free market capitalism, about the loss of free market capitalism and free trade agreements wiping out the american middle class. it was because we had to bowed down to the religion of the free market and what has never been repaid beentarp is the double standard that when these plutocrats got into trouble, all that garbage about the free market science and milton friedman got thrown right out the window. it is the double standard, the hypocrisy, the contradiction -- that can never be repaid, thank you. guest: the caller raises a really interesting point. this is something i put a report out on this past week. one thing we learned in 2008
8:45am
was that our financial system was very vulnerable to these highly interconnected financial institutions, too big to fill up companies and not only were they highly interconnected with each other -- we learn that their failure threatened american jobs and american pensions and mortgages. that was really shocking. i don't think regulators were prepared to deal with that. even with the bailout coming and preventing the failure of some of these institutions, there was trillions of dollars in american wealth that went out the door. that is a root cause of the financial system that has not yet been addressed. that is one of the things that needs to be addressed. the other thing that needs to be addressed is the risk-management practices which were woefully inadequate at the same companies. those are two things that need to be addressed ultimately. we can look at where we are at with the bailout and how much
8:46am
has been paid back but the bigger question is how did we get to a bail out and do we have a financial system that is more stable and less prone to a crisis in the future and that is the real question. host: stick a look at the numbers -- this is a graphic from npr showing how much they got and how much they paid back. guest: allied actually owns 14%. we own 22% of general motors of there is still large institutions. the nearly 300 smaller institutions are still left in
8:47am
tarp the numbers may be small but they are institutions that cannot get out of tarp. the smaller banks are still having trouble and tarp was never supposed to be about bailing out the larger institutions. it was supposed to be about helping everyone including struggling homeowners and that money is not going out the door sufficiently. host: from twitter -- guest: many americans feel strongly about this and they are looking for justice and accountability. we are a criminal law enforcement agencies so we do investigate crime related to tarp. our investigation has resulted in criminal charges against 121 people and criminal charges are
8:48am
not evidence of guilt but they are charges that have to be seriously dealt with. as of december 31, -- excuse me, jan., 83 people had been convicted and 35 were sentenced to prison. we are awaiting trial on the others and prison sentences and more people will continue to go to jail and more people will look at best and for accountability. our jurisdiction is not as broad as the entire department of justice. ours is related to tarp but we will continue to do our best and the department of justice is our partner. we are an investigative agency and they are prosecutorial. host: new york, independent line, welcome. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. how do they stop this? who is responsible for the large tarp payouts to these companies?
8:49am
chrysler was in trouble back in the reagan era and he paid back the money. why did we bail out chrysler and gm? .his is what i don't understand the gentle man you showed a picture of, kenneth feinberg, he was not secretary of treasury but he was in the treasury department making payments. that he the same one that was supposed to go to the victims of 9/11 and they never got paid and it went to all these various programs?
8:50am
guest: let me see if i can address these issues -- who is responsible and how does this stop? for a report, one of the critical pieces -- the companies have got to stop demanding access to peg. if your bill that, you have to stop pressing against the limits. you have to have an appreciation for the situation you are in and the fact that you are bailed out by people who don't have extras and are on tight budgets and that has not happened. historically, they have pushed back on pay and they want pay raises and higher cash salaries. they don't want to have their pay tied to performance goals and that has to stop. ultimately, they propose pay for their top employees. they've got to stop proposing excess of pay. we have grown to expect that from these companies and that is
8:51am
sad to say. treasury is supposed to be the one that stands up for the taxpayers and holds lawn on excess of pay and that is not happening and that's where it has to stop. treasury has to follow its own guidelines. we are finding that the companies are pushing back on treasury but they are not finding any resistance. treasury is allowing that to happen. treasury sets the pay largely by the company's proposals. we have said that treasury has got to independently dig into each of these people. there is not a lot of people, only two companies at this point, general motors and gmac which is now allied. day in and see if that pay is appropriate. i don't mean it is appropriate based on what they were paid before the bail out. is it appropriate for a taxpayer bailout company?
8:52am
is that appropriate? why are these people getting raises that went from $30,000 to $1 million. one person got one million- dollar race. if a company proposed 18 races, treasury gave 18 races. -- raises. you have to wonder why. is that person getting a $100,000 raised and others are getting more? how is it that their services are so valuable that it is worth that much? what we said to the treasury new pay czar is how you justify this? we got explanations that parroted what the company said. thatve t-- we have said they have to dig into this. host: here is a letter from the
8:53am
new tarp pay czar defending the actions of the treasury department. it cites the percentile of what other executives get. is that a fair defense? guest: is only one part. you need to keep them competitive but you don't want to make it so comfortable that they don't have an incentive to get out of tarp. you also have to look at these companies which are left in tarp after four years while other companies have gotten out. you cannot compare it to a company that is not being funded by taxpayers. one thing in our report was that the new peg czar report it would be normal for these executives to be paid cash bonuses over $500,000. maybe if they were not still in a belt out.
8:54am
host:, power does the pay czar have? guest: he has a lot of power. he sets the pay the top 25 of these companies so he has a lot of power and has to balance that. the way that can feinberg determine the balance was to use these guidelines. using these guidelines, it would strike that balance of rolling back the guidelines, the balance shifts at goes toward what the companies are asking for. host: we're talking about the report from sigtarp. from pennsylvania, democrats line. caller:hi, as i have been listening to you discussing this very interesting problem, it sounds to me that through the screening processes that they used to hire these people in the corporation -- the screening
8:55am
process as we used to hire people in treasury is doing a remarkable job of removing people's morals and integrity. i cannot understand how people reach the upper echelons of power and, all of a sudden, have their moral compasses phlebotomized and they don't think anything is wrong with that. in your reporting, have you gotten any inside to this situation about how people can just be so crass? guest: i think the caller raises an important point that we have addressed in our report. we reported on these companies in proposing excess of pay and high cash sellers a multimillion-dollar pay packages, cash salaries that are extremely high -- they just like a complete appreciation for the situation they are in. they want to be treated as business as usual.
8:56am
it is not business as usual not as long as the taxpayer is funding you. that is a fundamental premise that seems to be missing at these companies. these companies continue to push back. gm actually went to the treasury secretary and said give us relief from these pay limits. at the same time, they are not offering to pay back taxpayers. it is an important point to say that the companies have got to understand the situation they are in. part of the problem is a lot of these companies want there to be no public memory of the bailout. they want people to say that yes, that happen but now it is over and we have moved on and everything is well that everything is not well in america. we're still recovering slowly and we are still covering these companies and we are still continuing to put them on our shoulders so it is not business as usual.
8:57am
host: you mentioned the treasury as signing off on these executive pay which has been called excessive but also the responsibility of the companies. why shouldn't the companies ask for more money? advocate -- devil's vague ask and treasury denies, why should they stop? guest: at some point, they have to take responsibility. they came to the government had in hand and said save our bacon. you need to appreciate was bail you out and the situation that americans are in now and how our economic recovery has been slow. you have to take that into account and you cannot continue to push for more and more and more. we really need to see some appreciation on behalf of these companies. there certainly is this free
8:58am
market system as the earlier caller pointed out that this is not a free market if you are being bailed out. you are in a special situation. host: valley cottage, new york, republican. caller: good morning, this is a complicated subject. i know you have had the author of "reckless endangerment" on the show. i understand they are on the public dole but the real problem is what caused this. i will not make this too long but, right now, the justice department is suing ds &p 4 $5 million because of the libra scandal. in the 1960's if you bought a security or bond you paid to have it rated and later on they switched that and the people who were selling the security or the
8:59am
bond get a rating. if i don't get a good rating from somebody, i will go to his competitors so that was part of the problem which was never addressed in dodd-frank. also the simple fact that during the clinton administration and alter the bush administration, they did nothing to rein in fannie mae and freddie mac which mr. bush could have done with his hud critz terry and reduced the mandates from over 60% that they wanted subprime mortgages. this is what caused the collapse. right now, fannie mae and freddie mac are making it more difficult to get a mortgage but they are going through the fha. this is part of the problem -- not that we don't have enough regulation, is that we don't have good regulation or people enforcing those regulations. guest:

Terms of Use (31 Dec 2014)